The Name Game, but not…

I’m sure that everyone has played this game as the ‘name game’ at some training that they’ve attended in the past. Everyone stands in a circle, and one person introduces him or herself. The next person introduces him or herself, then has to recite (from memory) the names of each of the people that have gone before him or her. By the end, the last person in the circle ends up having to recite EVERYONE’S name–not an easy task if you didn’t know anyone when you arrived!

I have been trying to think of ways to get reps of voy/soy/estoy (I go/I am/I am) because they are irregular first person verbs, and my students always resort back to using the third person forms. I’ve done a few activities, but this was the most successful because it was so easy to get first person reps. We played it with “voy”, and each student in the circle had to say “I am going to __” (this could be a place or an infinitive, like “I’m going to run”). We got one rep from “voy” out of each student (30 students in my class = 30 reps, although they took awhile), and it was then contrasted with “va” (s/he goes) as they listed off the places or activities to which their classmates were going.

Each time a new student shared his/her destination, I would ask him or her “¿A dónde vas?” (Where are you going?) and s/he would repeat “Voy a __”. That got one more rep of “voy” per student and added in the second person contrast. You could also then ask the class, “¿A dónde va __?” (Where does __ go?) and they would all repeat, “__ va a __” (__ is going to __), but I wanted to focus on VOY, so I didn’t. You could also ask the student “Why are you going to ___?” or “With whom are you going to __?”, forcing him or her to repeat “I’m going to __ because…” or “I’m going to __ with…”, getting more and more reps of “voy”.

You could play this game to practice anything…I like, I have, I want, I can, I eat, etc. You can also break up the students into several smaller circles so that it doesn’t take so long to complete the game. It helps to have students write down several options of things that they could say first, because I require that any given place or activity can only be used twice (once if it is with a smaller class, but 30 is a lot!).

This is a great opportunity to hear your students speaking, too! The only thing that you can really assess from this activity is pronunciation/intonation, though, since it’s cookie-cutter speech. But it’s good practice to build comfort, anyway!

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